Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Ed Djerejian says Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin once told him, “There is no military solution to this conflict, only a political one.” Rabin was assassinated a few years later, and today bullets are flying, bombs are falling, and 1,200 Israelis are dead after the Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7 and nearly 30,000 Gazans have been killed in the Israeli response. Yet Djerejain still believes that a breakthrough is possible even in the current moment, as horrible as it is. Djerejian, a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Relations, says the crisis has shaken the regional status quo to the point where—if the United States pursues diplomacy that includes principled pragmatism, coalition-building, and good old-fashioned backbone—a breakthrough may finally be possible. But in a recent paper he argues that any breakthrough will have to be built around a two-state solution, which he says is the only path to peace and stability not only in Israel and Palestine, but the wider Middle East. Djerejian’s career as a diplomat spanned eight U.S. presidential administrations beginning with John F. Kennedy’s, and he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Syria and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.